Bandit the Bichon Frise
No, Bandit the Bichon is not a new breed of dog. Bandit is my son's Bichon Frise. My son researches everything before he buys it and getting a dog was no different. He researched and checked out any number of breeds before settling on the Bichon. There's nothing cuter than a Bichon Frise puppy.
The Bichon Frise is often referred to as just the Bichon. the Bichon is a relative of the Havanese. As you can see from the picture the Bichon is small but don't let his size fool you, he's full of life and loves humans! He's one of the friendliest dogs I've ever come across. It seems no matter how many Bichons I see, or where I see them, they're all the same, they don't know you but they love you!
Back to my son's research...Even though the Bichon has a double coat, he doesn't shed. This is one of his biggest selling points. A dog that doesn't shed! He's a great dog for people with allergies. He is related to the Havanese, both are non shedding, hypo-allergenic dogs. Both are descended from the Bichon Tenerife, a dog from the Canary Islands. The Bichon we know today was bred from the Tenerife and poodle, thus the curly hair versus the Havanese' silky hair. According to BichonFrise.org, the Bichons were divided into four categories; Bichon Maltais, Bichon Bolognais, Bichon Havanais, and Bichon Tenerife. Later, BichonFrise.org uses "Bichon" and "Tenerife" interchangeably. It would appear there is some dispute as to the exact origins of the Bichon Frise.
BichonFrise.org goes on to say in the 1800s the Bichon could be found almost everywhere, running the streets, performing in circuses and leading the blind. He was a 'wild' dog and on his own but the little troopers survived. After World War I some American soldiers brought them back here as pets but it wasn't until 1953 or 1956 (a disputed date) that the first Bichon was born in this country.
The Bichon's life expectancy is between 13 and 16 years. Health problems include some heart difficulties, skin and ear infections. There are other possible problems including Intervertebral disc disease, kidney disease and dental problems - these are seen but not exactly common. As for dental problems it seems all small dogs are subject to some dental problems so it really is a good idea to brush their teeth, starting when they are puppies,no matter what breed they are. Also, no matter what breed you have it is in your best interest to get pet insurance when they're puppies to help with any major health issues that may come along. You can find lots of information about pet insurance right here on hub pages or anywhere on the Internet.
Though they are full of life and love to run and play, they don't require much exercise. Like any dog a good walk and a little exercise is always required but they do make great pets for apartment dwellers or the elderly.
While it is said they won't run away, our Bandit (and my son and his family of course) live several blocks away from us. Bandit has been known to slip away and come and visit grandma on his own. I don't know if you would count that as running away though since he always comes to my house!
Bichons are also barkers. They like to let you know when someone's arrived or they hear something. Obviously you can't train a dog not to bark but if you start when they are puppies you can teach them to 'stop barking' on command.
Bichons only come in white. There are no other colors or color variations. They do get "tear stains" on their faces but there are products out now that can help erase them.
In spite of any drawbacks, everyone loves a Bichon. They are just so friendly and lively. There isn't a person alive they don't love. They are excellent with children and love nothing more than to sit in your lap or cuddle with a child. They love other animals...I mean these dogs are just soooo friendly!
I'm sure there's someone out there that has some kind of horror story but I would find it hard to believe. I think almost every site I visited on the Internet said something about their "cheerful attitude".
Woofahs.com says about the Bichon, "It has a self-assured, happy temperament that is easy to live with."
The only real drawback I can see for owning a Bichon is his white hair! Otherwise this little guy (of course that is considering you like little dogs) is about the perfect dog!
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